Mississippi Lawmakers Propose Making The Bible Official State Book

Image via MarioPiperni.com

Image via MarioPiperni.com

Earlier this week, it was the story about Winfield, Alabama declaring itself to be owned by God (sorry Jesus, no refunds). Now, Mississippi lawmakers want to make the Bible the official book of the state of Mississippi, and that really makes you wonder what the hell these people are thinking. I know, I know, this is Mississippi we’re talking about and conservative politicians here in Louisiana seem to run a close second or third to them and Alabama – but the Bible as the state book? Come on now.


Surely during their reading of the Constitution that they claim to be such devotees of, and certainly at some point during law school, they might have read that little part in the First Amendment that states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Apparently they didn’t, or more likely, they’re pushing this unconstitutional little bill (which will certainly be struck down by the courts) because they’re trying to pander to the religious right. Now you might ask, why is that? Certainly Mississippi is as conservative as it gets, so why would they need to pander even more? Oh that’s right, it’s an election year in Mississippi and members of both parties are trying see who can plant their lips on the backsides of the religious right more than the other.

During this state election year, some lawmakers are proposing to designate the Bible the official state book of Mississippi.

Rep. Tom Miles of Forest says he and fellow Democratic Rep. Michael Evans of Preston are filing a bill, and they already have received bipartisan promises of support from more than 20 of their colleagues.

Miles says Mississippi has a state bird, a state flower and even a state toy, so it should have a state book.

He tells The Associated Press on Monday that he’s not trying to force religion — or even reading — on anyone, but he sees the Bible as a good guide for promoting kindness and compassion. (Source)

Last time I checked, birds, flowers and toys weren’t religious in nature. These items aren’t a collection of religious stories considered by many to be a book of laws that they can use to try to force their own beliefs onto others. This shouldn’t come as any surprise though as Mississippi is the most religious state in the United States, according to a Gallup poll published in 2012. In fact, state law also says, “No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.”


As I said in the previous story concerning Winfield declaring itself owned by God, we are reminded once again that we are in the 21st century’s version of a Red Scare. In order to get low IQ, superstitious and insecure people to vote for them while they rob them blind, right-wing pundits and politicians have repeated the lie that religious freedom is under attack in America – even while they try to erode and erase the religious freedoms of people who don’t worship White Jesus.

If this law passes, it will almost immediately end up in court, and get thrown out after the state spends thousands of taxpayer dollars defending it. As much as modern conservatives and the religious right like to talk about “fiscal responsibility,” they have no problem drafting up and passing laws that are clearly in violation of the Constitution. Why propose these laws even though they don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of surviving even the most conservative of federal judges? Because they’re fodder for campaigns and the lawmakers who write them can always come back and say “I’m sorry y’all. We got this law passed but those dang liberal atheist activist judges hate God and freedom.”

No wonder 9 out of the 10 poorest states are in the Bible Belt – and Mississippi is number one. As long as the Republican Party keeps people thinking that their guns and religion are under attack, they don’t have to worry about running on anything else.



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  • Marilyn Olsen Scheffler

    Gee that’s REALLY an important project they are introducing!! Good grief! Aren’t there more important things going on in that state that they could work on instead of initiating a “state book”!! I seriously wonder about the common sense of these people who are supposed to have people’s best interests at heart.

  • BobJThompson

    Next on the Mississippi state agenda:
    1. Give everyone a WWJD bracelet and enforce that they wear it all times.
    2. Free bibles for every home in Mississippi. With a cover that blatantly says that it’s from the state.
    3. All commercials must either be advertising Christian products or services. If that’s not possible then there must be a line of scripture superseded on the commercial.
    4. Go to a Christian church and get $100!

  • OSJ

    Not to nitpick, but citing the First Amendment doesn’t work here.

    “Congress shall make no law…” doesn’t apply when it’s not the United States Congress making said law.

    That being said, Section 18 of the Constitution of the State of Mississippi provides that “no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect or mode of worship”.

    If we’re going to point out where the other side are doing it wrong, let’s make sure our own argument is solid.

    • Leftcoastrocky

      Fourteenth Amendment and incorporation doctrine and Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)

    • James M. Grandone

      Google the Supremacy Clause U.S. Constitution.

      • OSJ

        I’m familiar with the Supremacy Clause, but since the limitation in federal law is specifically imposed on the United States Congress, I don’t think it applies. Hence the reason I cited the MS state constitution instead.

  • James Worcester

    You got a few things wrong, there, Manny. Two (Democrat) reps, both Baptist, tried to put forward a bill which was immediately quashed. New figures show Mississippi as #20 in quality and accessibility of education, and Arkansas as the poorest state in the Union, not taking into account Kansas and Arizona, which are both near bankruptcy. Of course, you Northern geographic bigots will simply pooh-pooh this remark, as usual.

    • SmartAlex4

      Calling Northerers bigots is akin to calling Californians faggots. Its not cool, you pooh pooh head.

      • James Worcester

        If Northerners will quit utilizing outdated information and slanderous remarks in an attempt to make themselves sound better than the citizens of an entire state, I will quit calling them bigots.

  • Cemetery Girl

    I do not understand the logic behind having official state things like books (or really bird or flower or any of that.) It just never made sense to me. People don’t even usually know what they are! That said, wouldn’t it have been better to recognize a famous book by an author from the state?

    • SmartAlex4

      I think that having a state bird, flower, ect is for elementary students to memorize as well as an option for license plate images. However, if more than one famous author lives in a state then who decides it. How do you suppose others might feel. Birds and flowers have less of an emotional connection.

      • Cemetery Girl

        Perhaps by cultural impact, by how their work ties into the state, or any number of ways of making a selection. Considering I consider the declaring of an official state book to be silly, I’m not overly concerned, but it does make sense to have a tie to the state. If there’s to be an official state anything then it is better to have it be something that comes from the state.

      • SmartAlex4

        What if it went this way instead. Since the bible is a book which was written by foreigners so that no one has personal claim to it and one state declares it to be their book will the other states create a legal battle if they want to have the bible as a state book as well. .

  • Natural_Man

    I have a problem with the authors prejudgment of a certain group of people who happens to believe differently than he does. Labeling a large segment of people as having a low IQ,being superstitious and insecure I think is unfair and prejudiced. It’s unfortunate that the point the author was attempting to illustrate is overshadowed by his obvious disdain for Christian values or its belief system. I’m a Christian and proud of it and I believe in our Father in Heaven, His only begotten son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. If you choose to believe what I believe then that’s okay but if you choose not to believe as I do then that’s okay as well. Whatever we believe we should be able to voice our concerns and our arguments intelligently without unnecessarily disparaging someone else.

  • Natural_Man

    I have a problem with the authors prejudgment of a certain group of people who happens to believe differently than he does. Labeling a large segment of people as having a low IQ,being superstitious and insecure I think is unfair and prejudiced. It’s unfortunate that the point the author was attempting to illustrate is overshadowed by his obvious disdain for Christian values or its belief system. I’m a Christian and proud of it and I believe in our Father in Heaven, His only begotten son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. If you choose to believe what I believe then that’s okay but if you choose not to believe as I do then that’s okay as well. Whatever we believe we should be able to voice our concerns and our arguments intelligently without unnecessarily disparaging someone else_.

    • SmartAlex4

      Amen to that brother (in Christ).

  • worrierking

    They didn’t mention a state song. I’d like to suggest “Here’s to the State of Mississippi” by Phil Ochs.

    “Here’s to the land you’ve torn out the heart of
    Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of”.

  • Grand1

    The lawyers will have a lot of fun with that one. Which of the 43 versions of the Bible do they want to choose? LOL

    • SmartAlex4

      The multitude of versions is to reach the various reading levels of believers. Duh. Dickens, A Christmas Carol has been made into more versions of movies than any other novel but it is still A Christmas Carol.
      . When someone has to add LOL its like a lousy sit-com with canned-laughter. Let your readers determine if your comments are funny for themselves. btw, your comment is not funny.

      • James M. Grandone

        No. You are wrong. The Bible is not a novel. Every time you change a word, you change the meaning. The most reliable bibles are updated as better translations of words and their meanings in context are found. Even the translation from Greek to Latin to English changed the meaning of the texts in the Bible. So, don’t tell me that A Christmas Carol does not change in meaning from a book to a movie. I read the book and a lot is left out or added to the movies to make them more palatable and do well at the box office.

      • SmartAlex4

        It sounds like you have read the bible and are supporting the bible as the book of God for His children but not in support of it being used as a state ascribed book. Do I have that correct?

      • James M. Grandone

        It is what it is. I do not have an opinion about, nor am I aware of what you mean when you say “His children.” I do not support any position in that regard. I am saying that, because it would violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Mississippi would do well not to take action making it the “State Book.”
        Why do that? To tweak the liberals? To placate the churched? It is pointless, except as a political statement and that cheapens the whole idea.

      • SmartAlex4

        First and foremost what I mean by “one of His children is that in spite of common belief ONLY those who follow the Son are His children. The rest of humanity are His creations. So, while we are all created by Him we are not all His children.
        However I concede as I have, after some investigation, learned that state symbols are indeed laws which would making the bible the state book unconstitutional.

      • SmartAlex4

        Do you mean to say that it was a book first? Doh!!

  • SmartAlex4

    Try looking at it this way. If the bible wasn’t already an acceptable book for these United States then why is it still for swearing in? Few people do not need an external locus of control. I as a Christian am bothered by this practice but it has stood the test of time. Here is what I think the message that Mississippi is trying to imply is “We are a state where you can expect to be able to raise a family without fear of being robbed or murdered. Where people will respect authority. Where people will esteem others as highly as they esteem themselves. Where people will know that crime is not dealt with leniency but that there are consequences for every crime regardless of social status. Where the marriage contact is strongly adhered to.. .and on and on. Whether you believe in a powerful God who rewards and reprimands like a good Father or you don’t your cannot deny that a utopian state would be one where pride and greed did not exist. That is what I think, Charlie Brown.

  • James M. Grandone

    OK Thumpers, here’s the deal. No one is better than anyone else. We were all created equal and God does not make junk. If you think you are special, place your finger in a bowl of water. Take it out. See what an impression you make. Christ came to save us all, not some of us, not people who cry out that they believe in him, but everyone.
    His like was an example for us to follow. We are to love one another. Love God. Heal the sick. Comfort the afflicted. Help the poor. If we do not by our actions follow his example, then shame on us.
    But do not go saying you are better than me or better than them. You’re not. You are not better in the eyes of this nation than anyone else under the law. So don’t project your faults on others to make you feel superior.
    All of our graves are the same size when we did, so I would suggest, you humble down that superiority complex of yours voluntarily. Because I have seen it occur involuntarily and it is not pretty.
    Your servant.